Old Docs won't open

Posted by: yoyo52

Old Docs won't open - 12/11/01 09:20 PM

I have a whole bunch of old MS Word documents, from 1987, which will not open in any Word that I have, whether it's 98, 01, or now Word for X. Instead a dialogue window comes up asking me if I want to open it in rtf--but what happens is that lots of the data is garbled and useless. I honestly don't recall which version of Word I used back then, but the problem seems to stop when the document's creation date is sometime after 1993 (although there are some isolated cases when the document will open even if its creation date is earlier than that. Anyway, does anyone have any suggestion as to how I might go about getting these documents to open without loss of data?<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/11/01 11:26 PM

I'm sure there are others much more familiar with issues regarding "Word" than I, so I'll leave it to them to suggest why your versions are not backward compatible, but I have had wonderful experiences opening dated "Word" documents with DataViz's MacLinkPlus and in some cases AppleWorks, too. <br><br>-------------------------------------------<br>RWoelk <br>Generating 2048 bits of randomness...<br><br>Only the educated are free! -Epictetus
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/12/01 05:56 AM

yoyo52<br><br>You have to keep movin' 'em up in version over the years like I do. <br><br>Word 1.01 shipped ~ Feb/1986. Your files could be vers. 1-3, but not 4, when there was a major format change. Anything pre-Word 4 you're going to have problems converting with your present hardware and OS.<br><br>(If they were Word 4 files Word X would have opened them. Just tried that.)<br><br>(In glancing at Word 4, 5, and 6 on an archive drive I notice that no specific translators or converters are provided for earlier versions. Finding docs for Word 5 could be a painful experience. I assume that the function was included in the application itself. Word 4 and 5 use the identical file type/creator and presumbably Word 5 would convert the same earlier Word file formats. Word 6 differs only slightly. <br><br>This is important because Word X both imports and saves Word 5 file formats, making Word 5 a logical "bridge" (interim) application, the usual means of converting/importing old files. Modern "converters" or whatever, a generalization, never go back to file formats of the 1980's or earlier. (Just checked PageMaker 4 & 5 and WordPerfect 3.5a out of curiosity. If PageMaker 4 doesn't have a converter you'd have to go back to one of the bad old days' versions running under System 6 or earlier.)<br><br>The applies more to Microsoft documents than any other vendor I can think of. Don't ask. I'll just start another MS rant. <br><br>A text editor is likely your best solution unless you want to track down an older Mac. You'll have garbage characters to edit, but Word X would likely handle formatting with something as simple as Auto Format command.<br><br>Most of the garbage characters will be at the beginning and end of a multi-page document, or possibly at beginning and end of each page. <br><br>(There's an outside chance that Quark Express 3.x might work but it isn't especially fond of 9.2.2. Conversion or upgrading of files often puts more demands on an application than simple text entry and printing. "Run" and run/convert files are often two different things.)<br><br>MacLink Plus (DataViz) v. 12 or 13 does not have translators for Word (for Mac) 1-3. If 14 is the current version it doesn't either.<br><br>The oldest Word file I can readily find, creation date 1/5/89, Word 3 or 4, can be readily opened with BBEdit. It's a simple, one page file and has garbage characters only at top and bottom. The formatting appears to have been retained. It would be very simple to edit then move the text to Word X. But "3 or 4" may make a big difference.<br><br>BBEdit must be used to "Open" with the "Any File" option. "All documents" option will not work.<br><br>Before opening any files change Lite's preference to Geneva 12 or your preferred font in 12.<br><br>The good news.<br><br>BBEdit Lite is freeware and as powerful for this purpose as the full commercial version (for all practical purposes).<br><br>http://www.barebones.com<br><br>"Software that doesn't suck!"<br><br>(love that slogan; I have 2 or 3 of their t-shirts)<br><br>I don't know if there's a free Lite version for X, but the OS9 version should run under Classic with no problems.<br><br>Without having a file with a known creation date and/or modification date prior to 1989 file noted above I can't verify that BBEdit Lite will work. But it's a free download. I'll be surprised if it doesn't.<br><br>(Lite will also "save as" text files that Word X can open if you prefer to go that route after Lite opens an old file. I wouldn't try to do any formatting in Lite. Odds are something as simple as Auto Format in Word will handle most or all problems. Don't worry what it looks like in Lite. BBEdit has some decent formatting features of its own and you'll probably just duplicate your efforts.)<br><br>Formatting should present few problems for the simple reason that the 1-3 applications were not exactly as powerful as they are today. Word 1.01 and a System folder fit on a 400k floppy and had space left to save a few files. <br><br>If the files are especially bad for some reason when opened in Lite then tracking down an older Mac might be worthwhile because of the file compatibility between Word X and Word 5.1a noted above. Are these chapters of that Great American Novel you now plan to finish? <br><br>You'd need access to a Quadra or Power Mac to insure proper upgrading with Word 5 installed and would be best off with System 7.61 through 8.1. 8.6 might work. Have any labs with early (Rev. A-D) iMacs? They probably have 8.51 or 8.6 installed. Word 5.1a runs poorly under 8.6, worse under 9.0, and was probably broken with 9.04. But I'd avoid 8.6 if at all possible.<br><br>Word 4 and/or 5.1a software availability should be no problem for you as you're a registered owner of Office 98, 2001, and X and as long as you have a known email address, preferably one with broadband service, and have no difficulty in receiving 2MB segments of self extracting Stuffit files. <br><br>It doesn't appear you have a "known email address" temporarily posted in your user profile here. <br><br>Good luck!<br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/12/01 08:30 PM

Thanks for the BBEdit suggestion. Tried it, but what I get is not very different from what I get if I open the documents in Word as plain text.<br><br>What I have discovered is that I can actually open the documents with version 4 of Word, which I still have on an old "double sided" floppy from the paleodigital era . Of course, I can't run version 4 on any of the computers I have at home, which are running at least 9.1. Fortunately, there's a clunky old Performa in my work place, which is running 8.1, and I can open Word 4 on that. So I copy the text (which is very heavily formatted, by the way) to the Clipboard, and then copy the contents of the Clipboard to a brand new Word 98 document.<br><br>It's going to take me a long time to convert everything, but at least I'll be able to do it!<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/12/01 10:26 PM

Sorry, didn't understand you could open them at all and find the text or would have left out the BBEdit portion of the rant.<br><br>I never did find any files older than 1989. Found 3 other 1989 in the Word 4 folder, also dated 1989, but they logically are Word 4 files. One had a graphic in it that was nicely imported into Word X. <br><br>(All 4 of these files were double clicked, not opened from within Word. Word files may have struggled if files were put on a drive with a later version of app. Something along those lines. Can't recall. You might try double clicking one.) <br><br>I'm very surprised that Word 4 can't open the files directly and retain most, if not all formatting. Sorry, it's just been too long ago. There was a way.<br><br>You wouldn't have to have Word 4 Folder/Conversion folder/DCA Conversion 1.5? It's an app. and in the right place to convert something.<br><br>I found the one Word 4 folder and a second Word 5 folder. None have any kind of "conversion" files in the Conversions folder (Word 4) or Commands folder (Word 5), their proper location, to "convert" a Word 1-3 file to Word 4 or 5. <br><br>There's a "converter," for example, to convert Word 5 files to Windows 6, to convert MacWrite Pro or II files, etc., hence my original comment about the conversion being built into the app. itself. That's one reason I'm curious about DCA Conversion 1.5.<br><br>BTW, if any of those old files are over 20 pages or so I'd save every hour, or less, because Word 4 ate files. "Save as" is the safest way, using "save as" to create file 1, file 2, etc. until the final file is saved. "Save" or "auto save" have never been two of my favorite Word features for good reason.<br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/13/01 09:29 PM

Well, I converted all the files (they added up to something around 150) in about a half hour today cause I discovered that if I forced Word 4 to save the documents, then the freshly saved documents could be opened in Word 98 or X. What took the longest was that the computer was so god-awful slow. It's a Performa 6115, with only 16 MB of RAM, which I pumped up to 20 with VM. It was sort of comical to watch the system redraw the desktop when I had both Word 4 and Word 98 open at the same time. Thanks for all the suggestions.<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/13/01 10:12 PM

There is a freeware or shareware product that can open any word docs in simpletext- iword or something like that- just look on a freeware site for it-<br><br>why is there a IBM deskstar in my machine?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/14/01 12:57 AM

I'm confused. (Nothing new about that.)<br><br>It took you 30 minutes? But that doesn't include the time to edit the original files in Word 4, right?<br><br>Told you I just double clicked those old 1989 (likely Word 4) files. Word 98 - X should all have worked just as you describe. <br><br>Glad things worked out. <br><br>(It took you 30 minutes watching that old Performa with a PC 601 chip whirr away with an application that wasn't even FAT. Word 4 and 5 (don't remember about 6) were 68k apps on that old lowend Power Mac. Its whopping PPC 601 chip, running at 60 MHz or maybe 80MHz, wasn't even being used. You were running in emulation with the equivalent of something like an LC II with a 68030 chip at 16MHz. I'll bet it did seem a little slow to you.) <br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/14/01 07:49 AM

The "edit" of the original files amounted to putting in a space and then deleting it so that Word 4 would save a "new" document. You're right about why it was so slow--but then there's also a gee whiz part to it all, I think <br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/14/01 10:45 PM

yoyo52<br><br>Bottom line.... Glad you were able to migrate those files.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>You're right about why it was so slow--but then there's also a gee whiz part to it all, I think <p><hr></blockquote><p><br>I wonder what you'd think of watch a Mac+ with a 16MHz 68000 chip redraw the screen with PageMaker 3? <br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/15/01 08:34 PM

Hey, I still use my old Mac 512Ke (I've always loved that "e" for old games like Dark Castle (the old one) and Art of War. My kids' friends come over to use those old games a lot, in fact. Just goes to show that an old Mac never dies!<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/15/01 10:18 PM

Didn't know you had a good old 512e. My 512 is a "fat Mac." <br><br>As I recall (which isn't saying a great deal) the difference was that my "fat mac" that shipped late in 1984 had a 400k floppy and was otherwise identical to my 128k Mac, but the 512e had a 800k floppy.<br><br>Is that right? Remember what year you bought it? Were they available in 1986 (I think) when the Mac+ become available?<br><br>The only good commercial game I still have is Wizardry, but it's been ages since I've seen it and my #2 son likely pilfered it. Although I know I have Daleks and a few other public domain (the forerunner of freeware) and shareware games on a floppy.<br><br>Was Dark Castle that obstacle course game, sort of a cross between Mario Bros.? It seems to me the one I'm thinking of was the first or second commercial game that shipped for the Mac, with Wizardry being the other one.<br><br>Hmmm....you don't list that on your profile! That's one of the better Macs you have. <br><br>I updated my profile not long ago to list some I still have in closets and storage, but the forum software had a limit so I think I left a few out.<br><br>128k_Mac<br><br>"The box said 'Requires Windows XP or better' so I bought a Macintosh." - Anonymous
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Old Docs won't open - 12/15/01 11:42 PM

Yep, it has an 800 K floppy drive. I got it in late '86, and it was just at the time that the Pluses were coming out. The salesman dangled the Plus before me--but I thought that the money I paid for the 512e was more than I could afford. You know, for what I paid for that sucker I could buy the top TiBook and have money left over! The games I have are really my son's (although I play a couple now and then, who really has the time!). He spends a lot of time on Battle.net--actually not as much time as it seems, and certainly not as much as he'd like!<br><br>You're right, I don't have the 512e on my profile. I don't have the Classic II on there either. Can't list everything [wnk]<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear